The picture of the sculpture is so remarkable I think that it cannot be real. It must be a photograph, digitally altered by a master.
But it is real. The sculpture is just one of several in a display called “Les Voyageurs” by a man named Bruno Catalano. They are sculptures that show men and women travelers. Each has some sort of bag or suitcase with them and it is clear they are on a journey. But the thing that makes them stand out, that makes such an impression on me is that each of them have a significant piece missing from the center of their bodies. As though they are leaving a part of themselves behind or as though they are leaving to search for the part of their bodies that is incomplete.
They are works of art, sculptures that resonate with the modern-day soul. Sculptures that tell the story of the nomad, the pilgrim, the traveler, the refugee, the immigrant. They are incomplete and imperfect, yet that is what makes them so beautiful, so unique. They are beautifully imperfect.
As I searched to find out a bit more about the artist I discovered Catalano is a third culture kid, a global nomad. He was born in Casablanca but moved to France at 12 years old, settling in Marseille. He went on to become a sailor, and it was both of these things that inspired his sculptures.
“I have traveled a lot and I left Morocco when I was 12 years old. I felt that a part of me was gone and will never come back.”
“From years of being a sailor, I was always leaving different countries and places each time and it’s a process that we all go through. I feel like this occurs several times during life and of course everyone has missing pieces in his or her life that he won’t find again. So the meaning can be different for everyone, but to me the sculptures represent a world citizen.”*
There are many in our world who perceive themselves like these sculptures, as though they have missing pieces. There are those of us who feel we are not whole, that we are missing vital organs. The vital organs may be a place, a person, a community brought about by a death, a move, a crisis. And we see this as a problem, a flaw, something that needs to be remedied. But these sculptures tell a different story, taking something that we see as a deficit and turning it into an extraordinary and beautiful work of art. These travelers are beautifully imperfect.
At a deep spiritual level I believe this is what God wants to make of us — He wants to take these human bodies with their missing parts and connect them so that though they have missing pieces, they are still strong, still intact. He wants to take the broken, lost pieces of our soul, and put them together, welded stronger than steel. He wants to make of us not sculptures, but living, breathing beings that are broken but whole.
As you look at the pictures of these sculptures, what do you think? Do they resonate with you as a traveler, a pilgrim?
Today’s muffins use pomegranate and pistachios – two ingredients that are readily available for some of you, including Stacy our chef extraordinaire, and perhaps more difficult to obtain for others! they are topped with a pomegranate glaze and look incredible. Click on Pomegranate Pistachio Muffins for the recipe.